Really, it's just for fun. Overall, these days I'm not much into any heavy duty processing of my images. I was showing some relatives around Seattle, and so you just have to go to Kerry Park, right? An overcast day. But you just have to take a shot, right?
So I thought, well, here is one I can go overboard with. It's just for fun. Shows what Topaz Adjust 5 can do (the sketch-color preset). More digital art than photography.
Every once in a while, we can just do something different, something crazy. Original is on the Continue link below.
With Hurricane Irene pummeling the East Coast at this moment, I thought I'd show you we are having our own weather event right here in Seattle! Ever seen an electrical storm like this? Me neither. This is one of those "in camera effects" that some of us photogs enjoy. A somewhat long exposure, where at the end of it I twisted the lens zoom ring quickly, which is what made the "lightning."
Most of the times you try out these effects, they don't work well. This one kind of looks like a Hollywood special effects shot, so I'm liking it.
Canon 5D Mark II, 135mm F/2.0, f/2, 1/100, iso 100
As I have often remarked here on the blog, you have to be very selective when applying Topaz filters to people shots. I have been successful mainly when the subject has a lot of "character."
When I was looking at this image from a shoot back in 2010 it occurred to me that the painting effect of Topaz Simplify might work. It seemed like a Watercolor preset natural, but after trying it I settled on the Oil Painting preset.
Using the original image however I wasn't happy with the results. As you'll see on the Continue link below, in the original the kids were overexposed. No problem. Back into Lightroom. First I did highlight recovery, but that still didn't give me what I was looking for. So I pulled in a GND filter from the left and right sides, and adjusted the filter strength. The clothes still had some blown bits so I applied some negative exposure with the paintbrush. All of this took perhaps 60 seconds.
Back into Topaz Simplify and the Oil Painting preset. Then I did some adjustments with theSimplify Size and Feature Boost sliders. A slight bump on the Saturation slider. Now I had exactly what I was looking for. Let me know what you think of this one?
Canon 5D Mark II, 135mm F/2.0, f/4.0, 1/1250, iso 800
Haven't done a fun friday for a while. Usually it is some type of joke image, but today it's just a "fun image" that I took and processed. While at a party in Long Beach last year I looked up and saw this pole. Just snapped a quick shot. In Lightroom, changing the tone from the gray sky to the purple... well I think it is fun anyway!
Canon 5D Mk II, 135mm F/2.0, f/2.0, 1/1600, iso 400
Thought I'd try something different this Topaz Tuesday. Taking it easy, you might say, as the past two weeks I have received feedback of "overdoing" the Topaz Adjust effect. Lots of good feedback too, thank you people.
I shot this old fishing boat during Christmas week, over in Tomales Bay. A boat named "Abraxas." Must be a Santana fan eh?
The setting reminded me of a painting, so I thought why not give that a try, with Topaz Simplify. I chose the Oil Paint preset. I then played with the strength and saturation sliders. Back in Photoshop, I lightened the boat a bit.
Wish I had the talent to oil paint. In the meantime, I'll stick with Topaz. As always, click on the continue link for the SOOC version, as well as leaving me a comment if you wish.
Canon 5D Mark II, 180mm F/3.5 Macro, f/32, 1/10, iso 100
Found myself on the Pacific Ocean for Christmas. Been finding myself a lot there lately, haven't I?
This place is South Beach, in the Pt. Reyes National Seashore. My wife and I are on training wheels as empty nesters, and with both our kids in SoCal, we took a shot at the next phase of our lives. Staying in this area for a couple of nights was really great.
My wife loves to beachcomb, and I don't typically accompany her. I'm working on my photographs. But this trip was not meant to be a photo expedition, and it was darn cold out at this beach. So I thought I'd walk with her and enjoy the moment. Along with the 5D Mk II of course.
The waves were large, crashing and beautiful. I took some shots of them. Nothing too inspiring. I noticed a girl shooting some waves too. She'll likely be the subject of a Fun Friday one of these days.
Then I got the idea of trying some of my wave panning techniques. This would be the first time I would try it from the beach (usually I'm on a pier). I tried several concepts, nothing quite grabbing me while viewing them on the LCD.
I realized that the girl now had a friend join her, and they were running around, being playful on the beach. I decided to try some other camera movements, besides horizontal panning. I started seeing something I liked.
Then I heard the words of Tony Sweet who often uses "in camera effects." In a facebook post/image recently he said "as in all things photographic, you want to begin with a nice composition." (I paraphrased.)
Surveying my scene I decided that the moment I was looking for was when the waves reached up the shore the furthest distance. I moved my self closer, then, farther, from the waves to be able to capture the sand as well, as I liked the rich colors I was getting.
Once I had my composition and my camera movement down, I played with different shutter speeds, all working when the girls were playing and the waves were doing their thing. Kind of a lot going on, but I was really enjoying it. Many of my photo buddies know I struggle to take the time necessary at a particular location to work through all the possibilities.
Once I saw this one on the LCD, I was pretty sure it was going to be promising. Let's find out, what do you think of it?
Also, since I have been working on these wave shots quite a bit, I have added a new category to my "category cloud" which can take you to an index listings of my wave shots.
Last July we did a big trip through So Cal. At the end of our trip we were in Avila Beach, and they were having a street fair. I had my camera and was attempting some "street shooting" when I heard an old siren. Moving to the other end of the street, I caught this fireman bringing in one of their classic trucks. Old firetrucks make such amazing photo subjects.
This image is one where I used both Lightroom and Topaz. First in Lightroom, I applied a preset called Yesteryear2, to give it a vintage look. Then in Topaz I tried a few presets, settling on my old favorite Spicify. I then added a bit more Strength with that slider. Lovely combination, LR and Topaz Adjust!
Click on the continue link for the original, and to let me know how you like today's image.